Modern Healthcare reported on October 12 that a proposed repeal of the 2.3% excise tax on sales of certain medical devices is increasingly being seen as a key factor in resolving the current budget stalemate in Congress. The tax, imposed under the Affordable Care Act, is expected to being in about $29 billion over the next 10 years. Eliminating the tax would leave a large shortfall in funding for healthcare reform that would likely be difficult to replace, and the American Hospital Association and other groups are concerned that they would be subjected to further cuts to make up for the shortfall.

The device industry reportedly employs 400,000 people in the U.S. and has estimated total revenue of $116 billion. Some claim that the tax is causing companies to lay off employees and take other steps to cut costs.